AURORA, Colo. — An Aurora man was sentenced to 16 years in prison for shooting and seriously injuring his neighbor in a hate crime, the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office said Thursday.
In September, a jury convicted Jonathan William Hulquist, 41, of attempted second-degree murder, first-degree assault and a bias-motivated crime.
On July 7, 2018, neighbors in a residential complex at East Ford Circle and East Tennessee Avenue had gathered for a house party.
“Hultquist was driving too fast and squealed his tires as he drove up and parked in his spot. Some of the neighbors confronted him and admonished him to be more careful with children nearby. Hultquist appeared to become angry and went into his house,” the DA’s office said in a statement.
Hulquist then came back outside, apparently to apologize. However, he then saw a gender-fluid neighbor and began hurling insults, according to the DA’s office.
“Witnesses described Hultquist baiting, antagonizing and taunting the neighbor. At the time the neighbor was using a male name and was wearing a long wig, a dress and high heels,” the DA’s office said.
The party’s hosts lowered a garage door with the 54-year-old neighbor inside and Hulquist on the outside.
The neighbor called 911 and left to go home, carrying a box cutter.
Meanwhile, Hulquist was still outside, yelling.
“When he saw the neighbor, he ran into his house and came back out with a handgun. Hultquist and the neighbor moved out into the street. Hultquist was about 20 feet away when he fired one shot at the neighbor, who fell to the ground in the middle of the street,” the DA’s office said.
Aurora police officers were only feet away from the neighbor when the shooting occurred. They immediately rendered first aid.
The neighbor was shot in the midsection. The bullet was lodged in the spine. They lost a kidney as well as part of the colon and intestines. The DA’s office says several vertebra had to be fused and there is permanent nerve damage.
“It’s not right that people go around shooting other people because they don’t like them or disagree with them,” the neighbor told the judge during sentencing, according to the DA’s office.
Deputy DA Garrik Storgaard said the neighbor was not threatening anyone the night of the party.
Storgaard said Hultquist “chose the victim because he did not like who the victim is. His words and actions reveal his bigotry and complete intolerance.”
Storgaard worked on the case alongside Deputy DA Dan Martin.
“This was an unreasonable shooting that could have easily resulted in the death of this victim.” Martin said.
Correction: An earlier version of this story stated William was Hulquist’s first name. It is his middle name.